Bye week, it usually isn't surprising to see the list of absentees a little longer than normal. Today, however, was an exception. Nearly every player suited up. The only ones missing were tight end Aaron Hernandez (right ankle), cornerback Kyle Arrington (head injury suffered against the Rams), and rookie running back Brandon Bolden.
Safety Steve Gregory (hip) and defensive end Trevor Scott (hamstring) were back on the field after missing several practices each. Rookie offensive lineman Marcus Zusevics (pectoral), meanwhile, put on pads for the first time ever as a Patriot. He's been on the non-football injury (NFI) list since hurting himself at the Combine. Linebacker Tracy White (left foot) also made an appearance, though he was in his practice jersey and shorts only.
After pronouncing himself in the best shape of his life earlier today, linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was in full pads at practice, spent the opening portion of the workout riding a stationary bike and having the medical staff give him extra leg stretching after the team broke into individual and positional drills.
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe was back out at practice, too. He has been on injured reserve-designated for return, and started practicing a couple weeks back. He is now eligible to be activated to the 53-man roster, if the Patriots so choose.
New England made a few transactions this week. After letting go of veteran linebacker Bobby Carpenter on Tuesday, the team turned around and added another veteran to take his place. Mike Rivera was in for a workout last week and was re-signed after being with the club for most of the past calendar year. The Patriots also released cornerback Sterling Moore and practice squad tight end Alex Silvestro. Moore's place on the 53-man roster was filled by the re-signing of DB Derrick Martin, who was in training camp with the Patriots this summer.
The Patriots were with just five players on their practice squad after releasing Silvestro and calling up linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and DB Malcolm Williams in recent weeks. They added a sixth player today, though: wide receiver Jarred Fayson, who has bounced around the league since last season. He's wearing jersey number 16. Fayson played collegiately at Florida and Illinois.
QB Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week following his 300-yard, 4-TD performance in London. It's the 22nd time he's won the honor, tying him with Peyton Manning for most ever in NFL history.
Three players won the coveted Practice Player of the Week black jersey honors following the blowout win over St. Louis: Tarpinian, o-lineman Nick McDonald, and practice squad fullback James Develin.
There's no injury report this week. NFL clubs aren't required to submit one during their bye week. The next Patriots practice will likely be next Tuesday.
Curious about what the Patriots are doing with their days off during the bye weekend? Check out patriots.com for details.